Tuesday, July 23, 2024

England criticism stems from high expectations, says defiant Gordon

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 28 Jun 2024

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Anthony Gordon acknowledged England must improve to “give people what they want to see” as the winger suggested criticism stems from high expectations.

The Newcastle United forward is yet to start at Euro 2024 but has impressed from the bench, albeit in underwhelming England performances.

Gareth Southgate’s side topped Group C to set up a last-16 meeting with Slovakia on Sunday, though draws against Denmark and Slovenia, and an unconvincing win against Serbia has added scrutiny.

An honest appraisal from Gorden suggests England are well aware of their shortfalls so far, though the 23-year-old expects his team to respond in Gelsenkirchen.

“I don’t really care about stuff like that, I actually think of it in a positive way,” Gordon said at Friday’s pre-match press conference.

“If people are being negative it’s only because they expect a lot from you, which is a positive thing.

“If we want that to stop, we just need to perform and give people what they want to see.”

Some sections of the travelling England support jeered Southgate at full-time after the goalless draw with Slovenia on Tuesday, though Gordon again came away with credibility.

Manchester United and Three Lions great Wayne Rooney insisted Gordon should be brought into the starting XI for the last-16 clash after some fine cameos from the substitutes bench.

His form for Newcastle has caught the eye as well, with the former Everton man managing 12 goals and 11 assists in 48 games across all competitions this season.

Yet Gordon says he is not the type of player to go knocking on Southgate’s door to demand more minutes.

“I just like to try my best and control the controllable,” Gordon said.

“I think if I train to the very best of my ability, do the best I can every day, that’s my way of giving him a headache in terms of selection, and the rest I can’t control.

“Try my best and make selection as hard for him as I possibly can. When or if I’m needed, I’ll be more than ready.”

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